As I mentioned in my first post, a big part of what caused this blog to come into being was articles I read on The Alexandrian. What I read there prompted me to think about playing and DMing in ways that hadn’t occured to me before. One of my first and favorite posts there is “D&D: Calibrating Your Expectations.” something that had bothered me for a long time was the way that D&D characters “weren’t cool” until you were in the higher levels of play, and by that point you’d out-leveled a lot of my favorite monsters (notably goblins; I love goblins).
There’s more I can say there and maybe I will in a later post. The point is that the post established Level 1 as “regular people” and Level 3 as “Figures of Historic Note,” with Level 5 settling somewhere around “Mythic and Legendary Characters.” This fit a lot better with my desires for D&D, and Justin had enough argument to convince me that’s what was intended. Since then I’ve decided that my preferred form of D&D is E6 (where Level 6 is the cap and Epic rules come in to play).
I’m currently running a campaign appropriately titled “Expectations,” with my goal being to emphasize how cool low-level play really is. There are actually two things I’m working against here: player notions of what their characters are capable of, and all-too-prevalent world-scaling found in most D&D games I’ve played in, heard of, and even run myself. The two are, I think, strongly related and problematic, but I’ll set them aside for a separate post.
Expectations is the campaign that prompted me to really start looking at game structures and the lack of tools that I currently have at my disposal. I’ll probably refer to it from time to time, and I intent to test a lot of the thoughts I share here in that game.